Stephen Durnford: In 2014 Ralph Vaughan Williams's "The Lark Ascending" was voted Britain's favourite piece of classical music.
The composer went to St. Aubyns School, Rottingdean, East Sussex, where Rudyard Kipling's son also went, and within walking distance of where we live, on the edge of the South Downs National Park.
When we go walking in the fields nearby, we see and hear scores of larks, as dark and fluttering spots against the bright sky. If Vaughan Williams had this experience in the same downland as we do, then the larks we hear are probably the direct descendants of those that inspired him.
Sadly that fine old school closed in 2013, and planning approval is expected within a few days for the redevelopment of its eleven-acre site, much of which is Grade II listed. Particularly at risk is its large playing field, which I visited in the 1950s as linesman with my own school's football team, and then many times, half a century later, when a grandchild was a pupil there.
ZoneZine: Thank you Stephen for sending us this great article.
You can enjoy Vaughan Williams's masterpiece "The Lark Ascending" below.
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